Drowning is one of the most complex pathophysiological phenomenon in forensic medicine. Till date, no accurate diagnostic test exists to diagnose death due to drowning. This is probably due to the close relation of drowning death with death caused by asphyxia. But in the recent years, there have been various advances in the methods to diagnose drowning accurately. Among the conventional methods, the estimation of various ions from vitreous humor, pericardial fluid, pleural effusion fluid and fluid from sphenoid sinus have been made more accurate by using state of the art equipments. The correlation with lung weight has also shown great results in improving the accuracy of diagnosis of drowning cases. Pulmonary surfactants and aquaporins have shown great potential in developing a screening test to diagnose drowning death. RAGE is another new biomarker whose mRNA expression levels have shown great potential in diagnosing drowning deaths. In addition to the traditional diagnostic methods, these biomarkers can be used to increase the accuracy of diagnosing drowning deaths, manifold.
Key words: drowning, diagnosis, forensic